Calgary Comic Expo Recap: Day 2!
~*~ Celebrities and Insanities Edition ~*~
So my prediction about Day 2 being crazier than Day 1 was completely correct... it was INSANE!!
We got there an hour and a half early (good thing too!) and again we were herded into the Corral Stage area for some pre-opening entertainment. This time it was provided by the energetic and extremely entertaining indie rock band Heroincredible. In true nerd spirit they were dressed as Mario & Luigi with front woman Vanessa as Wonderwoman! These guys were super awesome and really knew how to capture the attention of their crowd by playing their own catchy tunes mixed in with some prairie classics like a cover of Arrogant Worm's The Last Saskatchewan Pirate, and my personal favourite was their rendition of the X-Men opening theme song. I have to say, Vanessa has some serious fret skills!
So our plan for today was to attend panels and get autographs. Neither one of us has ever been to a panel before, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. We had planned to attend back to back panels. However, when we lined up for our first one Cartoon Voices and saw how long the lines took, how limited the space was and how much congestion the Star Trek panels caused in the halls we cut our losses and only attended one other panel after the Cartoon Voices one.
Cartoon Voices Panel Featuring: Billy West (Futurama), Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh), Quinton Flynn (Raiden in Metal Gear Solid), Tara Strong (Power Puff Girls and Kim Possible), Brian Froud (Beyblade), and Christian Potenza (6teen, Total Island Drama)
|From Left to Right the order is the same as above listed|
This was held in Boyce Theatre, with a capacity of 500. If you weren't in line early enough it was pretty much "too bad, so sad". We were really worried because we were curved all around the outside of the Corral stage near the end of the line. We ended up being lucky number 392, right before they cut the line off at 396 to wait for VIP pass holders.
We got a quick introduction to each voice actor and what notable parts they've played. Then we proceeded to get some background on how each one got their start into voice acting. A lot of which consisted of impersonations as a kid and radio work. This was an amazing panel to attend! There was hilarious light banter back and forth and each actor weaved some of their signature voices and some notable impersonations into their stories which was a delight to hear. There wasn't much of a question period because it took so long to get through their stories, but it was still a great experience.
A few short videos I managed to capture, I ran out of memory card space right at Tara Strong, I was super sad :(
So while we were in line for the Sanctuary panel, there were groups of firemen milling about barking orders to move out of the way and getting really angry at the crowds. Turns out that the whole place was over capacity and it was getting dangerous. Looking at all the hallway deadlocks, and absolutely no moving room in any of the exhibition halls, I definitely agree. When we did move, it was a slight shuffle, and the volunteers had to remind everyone to make their way in a calm orderly fashion, and no using "Force Chokes" (dorky Star Wars joke). They even started turning away thousands of people who had pre-purchased tickets for this weekend and for today specifically, and who had travelled from far and wide. They ended up missing their photo ops, autographs and panels which really sucks. Even people who went out to their vehicle to drop things off, or out for a smoke (I feel less bad about this because YUCK!) weren't allowed back in. The planners definitely underestimated how many people would be showing up for the once in a lifetime reunion of the entire principle cast of Star Trek The Next Generation.
Sanctuary Panel Featuring: Ryan Robbins, Amanda Tapping and Christopher Heyerdahl
I've been following Amanda Tapping since she first starred in the science fiction series entitled Stargate: SG-1, as the incredibly smart air force employed Samantha Carter. In fact her playing such a prominent role in science is what inspired me to enter the science field too. She was definitely at the top of my to see/meet list!
The panel consisted of a mashup of Stargate, Sanctuary and new projects as the subjects. These three are really great friends and it showed in how well they interacted with each other. They were super friendly and answered all the crowd questions with wit and ease.
A few short videos (this isn't the complete panel, I only got snippets):
After the panels we embarked on the insane journey of obtaining autographs. This is where being short really sucked, I couldn't see my way through the crowd but luckily the celebrity posters were high enough to provide a point of reference. I couldn't get a photo of James and Oliver Phelps (HP's Weasley twins) as they were being barraged by a horde of screaming fan girls. But the primary three autographs we wanted were: James Marsters (As Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fame), Amanda Tapping and Stan Lee.
James Marsters Signing
This was for my friend Nicole, who couldn't come to the expo with us, but she loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
|James Marsters Signing|
|James Marster's Signing the autograph|
|I love the Bite Me! haha|
Amanda Tapping Signing
Both James Marsters and Amanda Tapping had a knack for putting nervous fans at ease, they made light small talk while signing and they were just an absolute pleasure to interact with!
Stan Lee Signing
This was a whole different bucket of worms. The program stated that in order to get a Stan Lee autograph you would need to pre-purchase a voucher (which I luckily did on Day 1), because they were sold out for today. But that's not even the half of it. Poor Stan Lee basically sits there and signs his name NON STOP like an automated machine. He's got assistants handing him the stuff and interchanging pens when needed, and he has to do this at a break neck speed because this line wraps around the celebrity autographing area as one of the most popular lines (and it was especially busy because it was near Sir Patrick Stewart). When we finally got closer to Stan Lee in the line, a girl informed us that he was all out of photos to sign (if you didn't bring anything), and that you would have to leave your spot in line to purchase something >.<. Luckily I brought a Comic :D. However, if Stan Lee decided to call it quits because he was tired, that was it. You'd have to wait in line for a few hours until the next signing, or refund your ticket, or try again the next day. Even though you can't get any words in, they at least let you take pictures of him, with no flash of course.
Although, one of the coolest things I saw someone bring for Stan Lee to sign was a complete set of 10 Marvel themed guitars!! They were amazing!
Even with all the ups and downs of crowds and the waiting. Patience and perseverance really paid off. Hopefully we can repeat our success tomorrow, with another day packed with panels!